Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Joannes (509), monk
Joannes (509), called of Bêth-Rabbân or Bêthnarsi, disciple and successor in the 6th cent. of Jacobus the founder of the monastery of Bêth-Haba. Jesujab, bp. of Nineveh, stated that Joannes had been a monk 70 years before his departure from Bêth-Haba; 30 years he had lived as a solitary, 40 with Jacobus as a coenobite. Joannes was for some time in the monastery of Bêth-Rabbân, which was subject to the same abbat as Bêth-Haba. Ebedjesu (ap. Assem. Bibl. Or. III. i. 72) states that he wrote a commentary on Ex., Lev., Num., Job, Jer., Ezk., and Prov., also certain tracts against Magi, Jews, and heretics. He also wrote prayers for Rogation days, a prayer on the death of Chosroes I. (d. 579), and on a plague which befel Nisibis, besides paracletic addresses for each order in the church (i.e. metrical discourses read in the office of the dead), a book of questions relating to O. and N. T., psalms, hymns, and chants. One of his hymns is in the Mosul Breviary, p. 61, and in a MS. in the Brit. Mus. (Wright, Cat. p. 135). Rosen and Forshall (Cat. MSS. xii. 3 n.) mention another hymn of his. Cf. also Lelong, Bibl. Sacr. ii. 794.